New for 2018, riders that advance to the Open Finals and any additional lower divisions, will only make one run in each of the three events during the Open Finals. The scores earned in the Open Finals will be carried to the lower divisions. For example, if a rider qualifies for the Open and Intermediate Open Finals, he/she will complete their herd work, rein work and fence work during the Open Finals; they will not show during the Intermediate and Limited Open Finals. If a rider qualifies for the Intermediate and/or Limited Open Finals only, he/she will compete in the Intermediate and Limited Open Finals as usual.
The Board of Directors took their time making this decision, considering every aspect of this new policy. After much deliberation, the Board members determined the overall health of our young equine athletes was priority. "We constantly worry about our horses' physical and mental well being throughout the process. Not only do we want them to be successful at the Futurity, we also want them to have long, happy and productive careers beyond their 3-year-old year. The best cow horses are those who continue as happy, sound derby/hackamore horses, two rein horses and bridle horses," says NRCHA President Todd Crawford.
In addition to limiting the number of runs a multi-divisional Open Finalists will make, the Board also approved a schedule that minimizes the number of times a horse will show in one day. Historically, 3-year-old Finalists complete their herd work, rein work and fence work all in one day. This year, all Finals herd work is held on Thursday, October 18, while the rein work and fence work is dispersed over Friday and Saturday.
By implementing this new format, the NRCHA Board of Directors hopes to decrease the wear and tear on our young horses and to help secure the longevity of their future show career. Reined cow horse is a demanding sport where horses must be able to compete in three events with excellent athleticism, ability and stamina. Our 3-years-olds rise to this challenge at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. The NRCHA is honored to host an event where these young triathletes can showcase their amazing talent. We are looking forward to the new format at the 2018 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and hope you can join us in Fort Worth, Texas, October 7 - 20, 2018.